China's Ant Financial raises offer for MoneyGram to $1.2 billion

China's Ant Financial raises offer for MoneyGram to $1.2 billion

Ant Financial is now offering to acquire Moneygram International Inc for $18 per share in cash. Now the Chinese company has increased its bid, making it more lucrative than what was offered by Euronet.

A subsidiary of Alibaba, of China, has agreed a $1.2 billion takeover deal with an American electronic payments company.

China-based Ant Financial, an online payments specialist founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), has substantially upped its takeover offer to USA -based money transfer giant MoneyGram International Inc. Just last week, Ant Financial formed a Joint Venture in Indonesia to offer payments and financial services in the company. The per share consideration represents a premium of approximately 64 percent to MoneyGram's volume weighted average share price over the prior three month period ended January 25, 2017, the day prior to the original transaction announced with Ant Financial.

By raising its bid such a large amount, Ant Financial is making clear its intention of completing a deal, said Doug Feagin, Ant's worldwide president. A group of investors owning 46% of the voting rights have given their nod as well, notes TechCrunch.

MoneyGram is the world's second-largest provider of money transfers and operates in more than 200 countries with a global network of about 347,000 agent offices. This deal follows the Chinese company's recent investments in payments firms in South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and India, notes Reuters. The previous offer made by Ant Financial was $13.25 per share.

Russian Federation metro explosion: One suspect in St. Petersburg subway blast identified
His DNA was found on the bag, authorities said. "You begin to feel the thin line about life and death", he said. The suspected bomber was identified as Kyrgyz-born Akbarjon Djalilov, a Russian citizen who was born in 1995.

Still, it can not be ignored that a deal with Euronet would be more agreeable to USA policymakers amid the increasing tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade and foreign policy. But the deal must first clear the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS), which looks at acquisitions for national security risks.

"CFIUS may lengthen the process.I don't think CFIUS would be a deal killer" said Jeffrey Sun, Shanghai-based partner with law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Ant and MoneyGram said in a joint statement they had made progress towards obtaining regulatory approvals, including winning United States antitrust clearance and were confident the deal would close in 2017.

MoneyGram and Ant Financial said that they have already made significant progress towards obtaining the regulatory approvals necessary to complete the transaction, including obtaining antitrust clearance in the USA and filing for certain state licensing approvals.

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